WASHINGTON – Toyota CEO Akio Toyoda defended the automaker’s role in the American economy as the Trump administration continues to consider labeling imported vehicles as a national security threat.
“I just don’t know why they call it a national security threat. That really makes me feel sad,” Toyoda said through an interpreter at the Economic Club of Washington, D.C. “I hope that this kind of conversation can go away.” The Japanese automaker is concerned about the possibility of increased tariffs on imported vehicles, which may be the Trump administration’s next step after the national-security threat decision.That Toyoda himself came to Washington to discuss the automaker’s commitment to America illustrates the depth of the company’s concern. Toyoda makes few high profile public appearances in the U.S. aside from the annual Detroit auto show. Since Trump began attacking imports after taking office, Toyota has taken steps to emphasize its U.S. investments. The automaker announced Thursday that it will invest $13 billion in the U.S. from 2017 to 2022, up from a previous plan of $10 billion. But the automaker continues to import about half of the vehicles it sells in the U.S., potentially exposing the company to steep costs if the administration imposes increased duties. “Regardless of the direction we go, we will never leave the United States,” Toyoda said. “We will stay here.”
The paragraph above demonstrates, once again, how dumb Trump really is.
For starters, there is no such thing as a "100% American car, since virtually every car on the planet get parts from a variety of countries, and most car companies sell at least some models that are manufactured abroad. Once example is Buick.
The company sells three SUV's, the Envision, the Enclave, and the Encore. The Envision is made in China, the Encore is made in Korea, and the Enclave is made in the United States. By imposing tariffs on imported vehicles, Trump is inevitably going to hurt the sales of Buicks, since they will then become more expensive that other competing vehicles.
In 2006, Buick sales in China surpassed Buick sales in the United States for the first time, and the gap has widened considerably since then.
For the first nine months of 2009, Buick sold 312,798 cars in China, and only 72,389 in the United States. As a result, when Buick redesigned the Lacrosse for the 2010 model year, the design studio that did the work was in Shanghai, not in America.
In the same vein, there is no such thing as a "German car" either, since they are made in a variety of countries. Mercedes makes more SUV's here than in Germany, and they also make the Passat in Chattanooga, Tennessee.
Toyota has manufacturing plants in 31 countries, and six of those are in the United States.
A few years ago, the car that had the highest percentage of American parts and labor was the Toyota Camry, but the top spot is how held by the Buick Enclave. Chevrolet (remember baseball, apple pie and Chevrolet?) sells numerous different models in the United States, and many of them have less than 14% American content.
In 2010, only 3 of the top 10 selling vehicles had "American" names. Only one of them, the Toyota Corolla, is not made in America. In 2010, the "most American" brand, Chevrolet, had only one vehicle in the top 10 - and it was a truck.